Cyber experts warn of security threats after Ring camera hacker taunts child and terrifies family

Local In MS

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (localmemphis.com) – You expect your home to be a private place for your family, but what happens when that security is violated? A north Mississippi mother’s Ring camera was hacked, and a man was recorded taunting her daughter. 

Authorities agree if you install a Ring camera, or a system like it in your home, you’re trading in an added blanket of security with possible exposure to hackers. It’s up to you to weigh the costs.

“I couldn’t even get to the end of the video,” said mother Ashley LeMay. “Because I was like what are they going to ask her to do next? Are they going to ask her to harm herself?”

Earlier this month, the family says their Ring camera system was hacked. 

“I was like you’re not Santa I just saw him yesterday and he sound beautiful and you sound ‘bleh,’ like horrible,” recounted 8-year-old Alyssa LeMay. 

A cyber security expert says newer technology like Ring cameras can be easily abused.

“With any new emerging technology, it creates opportunities for users but a lot of the security aspects haven’t been explored fully,” explains cyber security Josh Summitt. 

Even if hackers don’t get to your account, you’re still exposing yourself to third-parties. 

“That data goes up to a company, and that data’s stored on their server,” said Summitt. “So, all your private information and everything, you lose control over it.”

Cyber security experts say if you’re using cameras like Ring – set up two-factor authentication – and use a password vault to store strong passwords.

The Memphis FBI warns some hackers are working together.

“If something is exploited a lot of times in these criminal rings, it can become pretty commonly known. You may have some activity repeated,” said Assistant Special Agent in Charge Jeremy Baker.

Statement from Ring:

Customer trust is important to us and we take the security of our devices seriously. Our security team has investigated this incident and we have no evidence of an unauthorized intrusion or compromise of Ring’s systems or network

Recently, we were made aware of an incident where malicious actors obtained some Ring users’ account credentials (e.g., username and password) from a separate, external, non-Ring service and reused them to log in to some Ring accounts. Unfortunately, when the same username and password is reused on multiple services, it’s possible for bad actors to gain access to many accounts.

Upon learning of the incident, we took appropriate actions to promptly block bad actors from known affected Ring accounts and affected users have been contacted. Consumers should always practice good password hygiene and we encourage Ring customers to change their passwords and enable two-factor authentication.

– Ring spokesperson

©TEGNA Inc. 2019. All Rights Reserved.

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